Four years ago my daughter (now 19) and I went on our first missions trip to the Dominican Republic. My college friend had been encouraging me for years to come and see her and the ministry, but there had never been a perfect opportunity. 2012 though was a year when I couldn’t see any reason not to go.
I can’t sum up the entire trip here for you in this blog. So many things that we saw and heard. So much spiritual darkness and desperation mixed with the light of God’s people doing the work one day at a time and one step at a time.
We learned so much about ministry on that trip. It was hard but glorious. It was HOT, but our living quarters gave us cold showers! It was a completely out of my comfort zone experience, and it was the best stretching opportunity I’ve ever been given. We served in a variety of ways as we were in San Pedro as they prepared for a ladies conference gathering of ladies from all over the island. We then took a bus and traveled inland and up the mountains to a small work in a barrio that would be easily overlooked. A small ministry that God was growing on the side of a mountain.
New Hope Girls has become a ministry that I can’t forget, can’t leave behind, can’t shake from my heart. (nor do I want to) K and I were both changed after spending the day on the side of that mountain. I could tell you more about them and maybe will at a later time, but the love of Jesus is being lavishly poured onto these girls. The ones that have been rejected, that have lost much, that are at risk of being sold into the grimy underground sex trade if not for these families and women who have sacrificed for these girls.
We came home changed. I sat for several days just unable to superimpose the image of my comfortable home, quiet landscape and freedom to go where I wanted, with the contrast of what I had seen and experienced those last few days. I was more dazed and confused and left with the feeling that I had to do something personally about it. K and I discussed it and decided we really did want to do something more than just visit and that was it. We asked God to show us what we could do. We began with bringing purses and flipflops in that the ladies there were making to bring money in for the girls. We told our friends and family members about the job they were doing, and we gave lots of Christmas gifts from these items.
We also decided that somehow we would use our small gift coffee business to help. You see when the girls were small and we were homeschooling, I found a really neat business curriculum that taught children how to start and run a business. It was very smart and they recommended coffee as the right opportunity for a business. I love coffee, so our business was born. I didn’t truly know that this was a long term effort. In 2008, I only saw it as a good learning experience. But God has truly had other plans for it.
We began selling the idea to some of our customers that if they would commit to buying a bag of coffee from us each month, we could sponsor one of the girls at New Hope and take care of her expenses. That’s exactly what we did. Still to this day, we have regular customers who place orders each month, with 100% of the profit going to sponsor this sweet girl. They get a great bag of coffee, and they get to know they have a part in helping this ministry also.
After our visit in 2014, we got an even bigger vision of what to do next. Over the next few months, with input and feedback from our friends in the DR, we had our roaster formulate a special blend of coffees – nice and dark with robust flavor – just like they like it. After we got it JUST RIGHT, we launched the sale of our New Hope Blend Coffee. We are so totally blessed and honored to be able to provide a coffee that they love, that they can sell, and so can we that brings them added funds to help their ministry. I can’t tell you what a joy it is to take something that we already do – sell coffee to our friends and family and all the world online – and leverage it for kingdom work. It is incredibly exciting to see what God will do with our willing hands and hearts. Today I had the privilege of finishing up labeling 60 bags of coffee to go down to Florida to be sold to benefit these girls. I rejoice to be able to see God’s hand at work in their lives, and in my girls and mine.
What could you do with your business that could impact the Kingdom? Leveraging a business might not seem like your first line of ministry work, but I promise – if you’ll think outside the box, you just might find a way! I would love to hear your story – please comment and let me know!
Would you like to know more about the New Hope girls – here’s the link to their website! Great people doing a great work!
Would you like to order coffee to help with the ministry? We’d love to have you join us!